Whenever the word West Bengal is heard various pictures of the state comes into one’s mind. As it is known for its rich culture some may think of its “Durga Puja Celebration”, some about its “Baluchari Saree”, some may think about its literature and films and many about its music and cuisine. As Rabindra Nath Tagore is the pride of Bengal so are its royally luxurious desserts. It has a colourful or sumptuous sweet heritage which is known worldwide.
There is a saying that “Variety is the spicy of life.”Well, that is the speciality of our country; it has a wide variety of culture from different types of religions to race caste, language but still stands tall as one secular nation in the world. Talking about Bengals delightfully rich sweetmeats which are not only part of the gorgeous Bengali cuisine, but are famous across the country. Their authenticity and age-old tradition is the key for such yummy and mouth-watering sweet dishes. So let us have a look at deliciously gooey sweets of the state.
One of the famous sweet of the state. It is made from semolina can be found in different size and shapes. It is a sweet of grand and auspicious occasions.
It is made from freshly prepared chhena [cottage cheese]. It is made with jaggery or sugar. It is one of the most popular Bengali sweet. This can also be found in a variety of shape and sizes. This sweet has many variants like Kacha Golla, abar khabo or Indrani. In today’s experimental world one can find chocolate shondesh as well. Whatever experiment is done shondesh is always reasonably satisfying in each of its forms.
Lobong/ Lavang Latika
It is an evergreen sweet found throughout the year. It is made from Maida filled with khoya and nutmeg powder. It also includes ghee, raisins, nuts, sugar and cloves. It is well folded sweet sealed with clove. There is never an inappropriate time to have this delicious sweet.
It is a widely used sweet in the country. It is made from chhena. It is round in shape and the soft spongy balls are soaked in sugar syrup. In the beginning when they were made they lacked binding capacity as they have today as the chhena made at that time was coarse. Today Nobin Chandra Das is known as the person who invented spongy roshogullas. They are delicious and profoundly indigestible.
These are the sweets which in North India are termed as Boondi Ladoos. It is popular in Bangladesh as well. It is made from flour, ghee, butter and sugar. These sweets in the year 4BCE were used for medicinal purposes i.e. to keep the hormones of girls aged 9-11 balanced and under control. It is a type of boondi laddoo yet different in taste and appearance than usual.
Malai Chom Chom
This potent golden sweet is extremely soft with a golden shine with a thick texture of malai garnished with saffron just makes it irresistible. It is also made of chhena. It is absolute bliss.
It is sweet which can be pan-fried, steamed or boiled too. This sweet is a seasonal sweet which emphasizes on the arrival of the winter season. It is made of rice flour, sugar/ jaggery and sometimes milk is mixed to make it creamy. They are delightfully rich one can never say no to this sweet.
As the name suggests it is sweet curd blended with sweet milk, yoghurt and caramelized sugar. This mixture is fermented for a day. It is used on all auspicious occasions. Another type of this sweet is Bhapa Doi garnished with nuts. Tastes heavenly if served chilled.
This sweet is somewhat similar to Roshogulla except for the fact that it is deep-fried in either ghee or butter until deep brown and then being put in syrup. These balls look hard from outside but are delicate from inside.
This sweet is named after Lady Charlotte Canning; she was the wife of Lord Charles Canning. It is also known as Langcha which is filled with raisins and is coated with castor sugar. It tastes divine and is prepared on almost all occasions.
This dish is a combination of several other dishes. It is a mini Roshogulla coated with sugar and powdered khoya. Also known as Raskadam. It is a multilayered sweet. The outer layer of coconut and khoya and the inner layer is of small Roshogulla.
It is a combination of chhena, flour and cardamom which is deep-fried, then it is soaked in the sugar syrup and after this, it is dipped into the condensed milk and tastes best when served chilled.
This sweet is made of paneer, khoya and maida. It is a kind of jalebi but with some new taste. It is spiral in shape. Tastes best when served hot and fresh.
It is made of maida with some proportions of sooji and rice. It is filled with coconut and jaggery filling. It is similar in appearance like stuffed dosa. It can be served either hot or cold. This dish is especially enjoyed during harvest –related festivals.
This dish is from Bradhaman area of West Bengal. It is made of rice and gulab jamun. It looks like a pulao but tastes sweet. It has a rich milk base. It can also be made from vermicelli.
So next time if one visits Bengal or the Bengali sweet shop one cannot miss the sweet tour to the rich culture of there. As these mishtis are the sweetest gifts of Bongs to the world. Heaven for a person with a sweet tooth.